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Moon Festival Event in Deerpark Delights Upstate New Yorkers

At least 10,000 attended the two-day Chinese culture-themed fair
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights' related issues, politics, tech and society.
Published: September 19, 2022
(Image: Vision Times)

Thousands of people showed up for the 2022 Moon Festival, an annual fair in upstate New York’s town of Deerpark put on by the local Chinese-American community. 

The event, which came back for its seventh consecutive year, featured a wide variety of family-friendly events, including: cultural programs, traditional Asian foods, live music, local vendors, children’s activities and a dazzling display of fireworks. 

(Video: via Twitter)

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The Moon Festival was held over the weekend of Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 at the venue provided by New Century Films, running from late morning to after dark.   

“For locals whose families have lived here for 300 or 400 years, Chinese people are newcomers. We want to share with them our culture, so we can understand each other, become one community, and build up together,” executive director Peter Wei told The Epoch Times.

The event, which was held on September 17 and 18 in Deerpark, New York, drew more than 10,000 attendees and featured many attractions, such as live performances, music, arts, traditional Asian food, fireworks, and more. (Image: Vision Times)
The event featured many local vendors, arts and music, as well as a variety of traditional Asian foods. (Image: Vision Times)

According to Wei, the Festival was attended by at least 10,000 people. The venue was packed, with heavy traffic in and out of the area. Many fairgoers came on Sunday at the recommendation of their friends or relatives. 

The event also garnered proclamations from at least five elected officials, including: Congressman Patrick Maloney, State Senators James Skoufis and Mike Martucci, State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, and State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. 

What is the Moon Festival?

Moon festival events — known as the  Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) in China — go back thousands of years. 

In many Asian countries, particularly China, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, and Japan, the Mid-Autumn Festival stands out along with Chinese New Year as one of the most important annual holidays. 

Vision Times staff said the event was a great success and many people drove for hours to attend the Moon Festival. (Image: Vision Times)

Mid-Autumn celebrations are also known for being a time to express gratitude and for families to reunite, celebrate, and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals together. The holiday is also a symbolic time for welcoming abundant harvests in the new season and celebrates three of the most important values in traditional Chinese culture: family, gratitude and respect for the heavens.

A float is pictured during the Moon Festival celebration held in Deerpark, New York, on Sept. 17 and 18. (Image: Vision Times)

Since the festivity is commemorated according to the lunar calendar, and takes place when the moon is at its brightest and fullest size, a full moon always decorates the sky — hence becoming known as the “Moon Festival.” 

The holiday is also known for its traditional star dish: Yuebing (月餅), or “mooncakes.” These dense, sweet pastries are typically round in shape and represent the values of feeling complete — or reunited — and are filled with pastes, such as lotus seed or red bean, to symbolize the sweetness of celebrating with loved ones. 

Residents charmed

Sam Kressevich, a resident of Campbell Hall, New York, was looking forward to attending the festival after her mother saw a flyer promoting the event at their local Asian supermarket in Middletown. 

Kressevich shared with The Epoch Times that she has always been attracted to Asian cultures, and most enjoyed seeing the vibrant colors, browsing through local vendor stands offering traditional Chinese gifts, and most of all — loved being able to share the experience with her mother and two daughters.

Sam Kressevich (L), Lori Kressevich, and Alex Kressevich (R) pictured at the Moon Festival in Deerpark, New York on September 17, 2022. (Image: Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

“Beautiful dresses. It’s very traditional. I also saw a little girl running around in traditional outfits, her hair pinned back into a little low bun; her address was beautiful,” Kressevich said.

Kressevich’s mother Lori added that she loved being able to do some shopping, and enjoyed spending the afternoon with her family.

“I like all the vendors and especially the traditional Asian things like the tea sets and jewelry. I just love all of that. I’ve always loved it,” Lori Kressevich shared. 

Mouth-watering foods and splendid dances

For Jennifer Leon, a resident of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, the highlight of the event was getting to try all the different kinds of traditional foods. 

The night ended with a dazzling display of fireworks in Deerpark, New York on September 17 and 18. (Image: Vision Times)

About 30 food vendors were present at the event  all offering authentic Chinese food as well as other Asian cuisines. Leon said she tried pork buns, dumplings, and Thai tea, while her niece, Lily Reimfurt, said she enjoyed the Hong Kong-style egg tarts the best.

Reimfurt also shared with The Epoch Times how she enjoyed seeing traditional Chinese dancing on stage — an art form she had never experienced before. 

“It is really cool to see how similar and how different we are. We are similar in that we all use dances to express ourselves, and we are just different in the way that we do it,” Reimfurt told The Epoch Times.